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Author Topic: Shock DSLR Purchase  (Read 4629 times)

Neil Hunt

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Shock DSLR Purchase
« on: October 01, 2007, 03:36:00 am »

I'm about 3 years behind everyone else when it comes to technology, but on impulse I've finally splashed out on a DSLR, didn't need one, didn't really even want one but eventually the marketing drip feed got to me and I just had to see for myself. Its nothing special, just an Olympus E410, but it was a twin lens kit on offer so what the heck - had to be done sooner or later.

After 25 years plus of film use, including MF and 5x4 I must say the reality of digital was far more of a shock than I'd expected.

Convenience, usability - incredible, even my basic DSLR is so much better than I'd expected. Really incomparably better, though the Olympus metering needs watching you have the tools to do it so much more easily.

Image quality - again just amazing - superficially, but then oh dear! Sharp, very sharp in fact but where is all the detail and those pixels are very artificial looking aren't they. I didn't realise noise free could mean subtlety free too.

So in summary digital SLRs wow. Digital SLR images - well yes in many ways, but the film gear and scanner won't be heading for Ebay anytime soon.

Two other things just occured to me - in good light at low ISO the images from the Olympus and my Canon A530 point and shoot aren't that different. In fact aesthetically, the point and shoot edges it on a couple. And finally, you could say I need a Nikon or a Canon or a Pentax or trade in the standard zoom for the Leica alternative and that would sort it out - but you'd be wrong!
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BernardLanguillier

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Shock DSLR Purchase
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2007, 03:45:29 am »

Quote
And finally, you could say I need a Nikon or a Canon or a Pentax or trade in the standard zoom for the Leica alternative and that would sort it out - but you'd be wrong!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=143086\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

How do you know?

Are you claiming that all DSLR are the same, with all lenses being also the same?

Regards,
Bernard

Neil Hunt

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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2007, 09:30:29 am »

Bernard,

No not at all, I don't have anything for or against any specific make or model. Its the general principle.

For example from a reasonably sized print, I don't believe 99.99% of people, expert or not, could identify the make of camera or lens. (No doubt a Lomographer or X-Pan user will reply, just to prove me wrong)

But I do think, although this is just my own subjective opinion based on no evidence whatsoever, that many photographers could still tell the digital from the film image, even in some cases just from a well printed magazine.

Basically film and digital have a different look and being brought up on film I still think it prints better, even when technically it appears to be inferior.

Neil.


Quote
How do you know?

Are you claiming that all DSLR are the same, with all lenses being also the same?

Regards,
Bernard
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jjj

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Shock DSLR Purchase
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2007, 01:05:59 pm »

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But I do think, although this is just my own subjective opinion based on no evidence whatsoever, that many photographers could still tell the digital from the film image, even in some cases just from a well printed magazine.

Basically film and digital have a different look and being brought up on film I still think it prints better, even when technically it appears to be inferior.

Neil.
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A lot of images are very obviously digital in many magazines. And without pixel peeping either. They have that nasty video look, which is not surprising as all they is a glorified a still video camera.
I use digital exclusively but I tweak it to not look like digital.
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Neil Hunt

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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2007, 05:52:27 pm »

Like your website by the way.

Neil.

Quote
A lot of images are very obviously digital in many magazines. And without pixel peeping either. They have that nasty video look, which is not surprising as all they is a glorified a still video camera.
I use digital exclusively but I tweak it to not look like digital.
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spidermike

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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2007, 03:36:19 am »

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A lot of images are very obviously digital in many magazines. And without pixel peeping either. They have that nasty video look, which is not surprising as all they is a glorified a still video camera.
I use digital exclusively but I tweak it to not look like digital.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=143182\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think you need to be careful here. Is the 'video look' due to limitations of the technology itself or is it due to the way the technology is used?

In any new technology, you will get a period where people use the tools they have at their disposal purely because they can and in so doing they often over-use them.
Or has the person tried to publish a picture whose quality is lower than they would have accepted when submitting a slide for publication? If the slide is sub-standard it doesn't get published; but if a digital picture is sub-standard you can tweak it and rescue it (to some extent) - but you have to over-use the tools to do this.
Nearly all digital pitcures straight from the camera need some level of sharpening or contrast adjustment - has the person producing the picture got it right?

Many wedding pictures nowadays are digital - as were ours and there is no way I would say they are 'obviously digital' with a 'nasty video look'.


I remember when CD first came into the hifi world and there were some self-poclaimed experts saying that CD was sub-standard to analogue (i.e. LP) because they could 'hear the gaps' between the digital bits. Arrant nonsense, of course.
 
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BernardLanguillier

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Shock DSLR Purchase
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2007, 03:56:38 am »

Quote
I remember when CD first came into the hifi world and there were some self-poclaimed experts saying that CD was sub-standard to analogue (i.e. LP) because they could 'hear the gaps' between the digital bits. Arrant nonsense, of course.
 
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I was true back then that an expert could clearly hear the difference (even if they couldn't hear the gap between the bits). It is still true today with lower end CD players by the way.

The characteristics of digital images are different from those of film, and an experienced eye can often tell them apart. Whether one is better than the other is a different question. I shoot both, scan the film on a high end scanner, and have to agree that the scanned 4x5 are often preferred by people who know nothing about the technicalities of photography...  

There is something organic to the analog images that many people appear to feel appealing.

Cheers,
Bernard

marcmccalmont

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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2007, 03:59:18 am »

I do have a theory and that is Humans are extremely adaptable creatures. So adaptable in fact that if one stood in a pile of manure long enough you would miss it when it's gone! All kidding aside, like audio (analog LP's and digital CD's) film and digital capture are apples and oranges both have their strengths and weaknesses Both, like audio, when executed well are stunning.
Marc
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Rob C

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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2007, 02:54:08 pm »

There are bound to be differences between two different forms of capture, just as there are differences even between two types of film; but using both, I have a sort of feeling that film (Kodachrome in my case, and with humans) can be pretty good. This may be based on insufficient evidence, because I canīt say I have any great volume of pics of people shot on digital, but what is true is that b/w prints made from these Kodachromes via CanoScan equipment is sharper and more revealing of detail than I ever found to be the case when the same shots were printed on offset litho in their full-coloured glory.

I have also concluded that b/w film originals of townscapes, most often through a Nikon Orange filter, look more convincing to me than do the later shots Iīve done via digital capture, both printed digitally.

Of course, using film has its own problems as outlined elsewhere on this site in the thread about Mamiya 67 cameras. But regardless, digital wins on practicality (for me). I hate to write that - it feels like bowing oneīs head to lowered standards.

Rob C

Neil Hunt

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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2007, 06:38:42 pm »

You have a point here though. Wedding photgraphers do tend to keep the contrast to sensible levels. Even though I'm a bit ambivalent about digital imaging quality in print, it does seem that a lot of the issues are exacerbated by excessive curves or LCE. Understandable if you are aiming for a thumbnail with impact for your website, but really doesn't translate well to paper on the whole. Not for my taste anyway.


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Many wedding pictures nowadays are digital - as were ours and there is no way I would say they are 'obviously digital' with a 'nasty video look'.

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gunnar1

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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2007, 01:32:18 am »

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I do have a theory and that is Humans are extremely adaptable creatures. So adaptable in fact that if one stood in a pile of manure long enough you would miss it when it's gone! All kidding aside, like audio (analog LP's and digital CD's) film and digital capture are apples and oranges both have their strengths and weaknesses Both, like audio, when executed well are stunning.
Marc
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This comment echoes a theory I have long held. I believe that our brains automatically compensate for what is not being input quite correctly. An example of this would be wearing sunglasses. We all wear them, but they do not adversely affect our interpretation of what we are seeing. Our brains compensate for the green or orange or gray tint that the glasses put over everything.
 
If you are out shooting in bright sunshine, wearing sunglasses, and you later download your images, do you question the way they look? Do they look 'wrong' because they don't have the warm look that the sunglasses you were wearing gave the scene at the time? I would hold that they do not look wrong because of this ability. You knew all along what the scene was supposed to look like.

The same goes for the CD (or for that matter a poor analog recording). You may know intuitively that what you are hearing is not what you know it should sound like, but you simply compensate for the lack of data. I suppose this all only holds true if you are not actively looking for the differences, but rather enjoying the content for it's own sake.

Richard
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